The Blues Brothers happens to be one of my all-time favourite films and I love the premise of Jake and Elwood putting the band back together again for one last show. They managed it in the end, with quite a bit of trouble along the way and the reunion was a great success. Well, they ended up in jail, but at least they were together again as a band!
It seems to be something of a regular occurrence nowadays that bands spilt up and then decide a few years later to give it another shot. Being somewhat of a cynic, I could say that financial reasons are probably the main driving force behind band reunions. Makes the most amount of sense I guess, but for the fans having their favourite artists back together again whatever reason is probably good enough for them.
I am a massive Crowded House fan. I have been since the release of Woodface in the early 90’s and I was heartbroken when the split for good in 1996. Drummer Paul Hester had left the band in 1994, but reunited with them for the farewell shows, marking the end of an era for this amazing band. It was a sad time, but was as Neil and Tim Finn continued to perform both as solo artists and also under the Finn Brothers guise, it was a comfort to still be able to hear new music coming out. It was, however, truly devastating when Paul committed suicide in 2005 and the original Crowdies were no more. I remember hearing the news and shedding many tears for the loss, and in fact every time I write about Paul (even now) I have tears running down my face remembering what a talented individual he was. Crowded House went on to reform in 2006 and have produced some great music including the stunning ‘Intriguer’ album in 2010. I guess the moral of the story is if you wish hard enough the band will get back together. Maybe.
In the UK we have been inundated with a TV show called ‘The Big Reunion’ where various ‘artists’ reformed for live telly. Bands like Atomic Kitten, Five and Liberty X took part and have toured on the back of the show. I didn’t watch it (it’s not really my cup of tea), but it seems to have provided some of these acts with a new lease of life so to speak. I guess this is a good thing for them, but I reckon their demise was more about them not being particularly good rather than anything else.
I suppose the reunion that caught my attention the most (apart from Christine McVie returning to Fleetwood Mac) was shoegazing band Ride getting back together again at the end of 2014. I was never a Ride fan I have to say, I was more into offshoot band Hurricane #1 if I’m honest, but they seemed to have a big influence on the scene back in the early ’90s. I know that when they announced a reunion tour tickets sold out pretty damn fast which shows the fanbase is still out there. Andy Bell seems to have reinvented himself in many other bands since the end of Ride by joining both Oasis and Liam Gallagher’s Beatles tribute act Beady Eye. Interestingly though, another band to reunite last year were Hurricane #1, but Mr Bell is strangely missing from the line-up. Clearly the chance to restart Ride was a better offer to him than the alternative. Enough said.
I suppose the question could be “which band would you like to get back together again?” For me personally it would be The Bluetones, but I don’t think there is much chance of that happening. Their debut album, the wonderful ‘Expecting to Fly’ reaches the grand old age of 20 next year, but are we likely to see them getting together for some reunion shows? My instinct tells me no. Lead singer Mark Morriss is off doing the solo thing and I don’t think he has the desire to put the band back together again. I may be wrong though. In fact I hope I am cos that’s one tour I’d be extremely happy to see.
This article previously appeared on Record, Rewind, Play in March 2015.